Pakiri

Updated Site information - March 1, 2022

A new agreement has been reached with Auckland Council, thanks to the endless efforts from Tony Seaman.
Please familiarize yourself with the new rules, as we don't want any breaches and then possibly jeopardize our activities again.
Work is ongoing with the development of the Regional Parks Management Plan to have our activities fully incorporated.


Site Information

Pakiri is arguably one of the nicest and most scenic coastal sites in the North Island.
This site is located approximately 8 kilometres North West of Leigh, about 87km from Auckland CBD.

To get there, take State Highway 1 to Warkworth, turn right at the Hill Street intersection, and follow the signposts to Leigh.

In Leigh, turn left to the Fire Station and follow the road for about six kilometres up the large hill. Once at the top, and about 700 metres after viewing Pakiri beach to the north, turn right into M Greenwood Road and drive right to the end of the gravel road to park by the gates.
(Notes: There's a J Greenwood Road too - don't take that one!
Some of the property owners on M Greenwood Road have put 'Private Property' signs on their fences that could be misinterpreted as meaning the road itself is private. This is not the case and you can drive to the end of the road and park.)​

Use the gate to your right and walk a few meters downhills to the site. The location is easy to see in the photo.

This site has very specific conditions of use. See Access Conditions and Notes below.

Take off: The pictures below show the launch sites.

With the two launch sites being close, one almost in front of the other but slightly offset, in the rare event of both PG & HG operating at same time there will need to be some close liaison between pilots over launch procedure on the day.

Site Type

Coastal

Landing

See pictures below.

Landing (principally for PG): Either top land, or land on the approved sections of the beach. This is restricted to the area of beach from the rocks immediately below TO up to a point about 1km NW. In the picture in between the two green dots.
Do not land on the beach NW of this area, past the area marked in red. This is Maori freehold land and the owners have requested that we do not land here, so please respect landowners wishes. (The beach is included in the private property)
Do not walk past this area marked red either, in to, and over private property/beach!

HG Landing: Pilots need to be aware of the reach north of private property.
Currently, a preferred landing zone is the cricket grounds at the end of Pakiri River Road, but further discussions needs to be had with the owners/lessees of this, as to ensure the is official approval for it.

Return to Launch

Council has stipulated that pilots no longer return back up from the beach using the steep area immediately below launch.
Instead, all return is to be by way of the approved access track marked in yellow on the map below. This is an easier gradient as it follows the ridge line.
This is planned to eventually become a proper formed walking track.
This route does pass through a Pā site on the peak of the hill, so please keep to the route rather than finding shortcuts.

Council Approved Map - March 2022

Weather and Wind Direction

North, North East

Mandatory Notices

The Council have the following conditions stipulated. Please see Notes below for more details.

  1. Vehicles must be parked outside the gate at the end of M Greenwood Road, and access to the site is by foot only so a short carry in for HG.

  2. Landing: either top land, or within approved area of beach.

  3. Return walk to Launch only via approved route.

  4. Numbers using the site at any one time to be lower than 15.

  5. Permission to remain in place until the planning process is complete, provided conditions are adhered to.

  6. Any organised event where numbers of participants are higher than 15 must be approved under the Discretionary Use Process. This process requires submitting proposals at least four weeks prior to organising such an event.

  7. No physical site maintenance to be undertaken. We do not have permission to modify the sites at all, not even grass trimming.
    (Plans are in place to work on this wiht having some people approved by Council to undertake maintenance).

Site Radio Channel

Channel 20 - 476.900MHz

Restrictions

Hang Gliding

HG Intermediate

Paragliding

PG 2 + 20 hours

Cautions

  1. The main take off (NE 600ft ASL), can be used for top landing in light winds. Beware of a long thin wire suspended directly in front of and below TO. In some conditions this wire is invisible.

  2. In NE winds the north bowl produces severe vertical rotor up to 800ft asl between the NE lying ridge-spine and the first Macrocarpa tree.

  3. Similarly the spine further to the N-W has busted three legs.

  4. Often the lift band is very wide when bariopressure is below 1015- hPa, and when a reasonable wind is present, but sometimes in very fine hot weather under light-wind conditions, it is not.

  5. Many accidents (one near fatal) have occurred when novice pilots have failed to reach the beach by landing on rocks or in the sea.

  6. The danger signs are; warm/hot temperatures, high barometric pressure, light wind strength, and inexperienced pilots.

  7. Instructors are cautioned about being duped by fine conditions such as >20-deg C; >1020 hPa, <12 kts, novice pilots.

  8. Low air-time pilots should also be cautious under northerly conditions about flying southwards to the main face or the big Eastern bowl as they usually do not make it back to a safe L.Z.

Airspace

Height ceiling is 6,500 foot A.S.L.

Access Conditions

Particular restrictions owing to seasonal farming requirements maybe imposed by the farmer, reference to be made to the site monitor before considering flying this site.

Site Monitor

Dennis 021 112 1622

Notes

Pakiri Site use by PG & HG

This site has seen some issues around land ownership (part of the beach), Regional Park restrictions etc.
It has taken a lot of effort over the years to maintain our activities here, with the latest round of negotiations in March 2022.
In short, the site is sensitive.
Don't F(*K it up, stick to the rules.
Discussions are still ongoing, with the Regional Parks Management Plan currently in development.

Site Achievements

February 1994 Dennis Marett, Hang glider pilot, recorded best distance from take-off here, 36.2 nautical miles into the Auckland Domain, compliments of the Westpac Helicopter Service.

Tommy Naimis and Brian Skellern, Hang glider pilots both got lost in clouds and found trees in the sky!